Madina Nalwanga as Phiona Mutesi in QUEEN OF KATWE,.

Madina Nalwanga as Phiona Mutesi in ‘Queen of Katwe’.

‘Queen of Katwe’

If there is one movie to see this weekend, it is “Queen of Katwe.” One of the most moving and inspiring movies to hit the screens, “Queen of Katwe” is so important on many fronts. Based on a true story, it’s a reality check for those wallowing in self-pity and those facing tough odds.

The camera loves star Madina Nalwanga (Phiona Mufesi) and her beautiful, expressive face efficaciously draws audiences into all the failures and triumphs she experiences. Her greatest triumph was becoming an International Chess Champion.

While selling corn, Phiona unexpectedly comes across a group of chess enthusiasts and Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), who drastically changes her life. Phiona lives in extreme poverty in the shantytown of Katwe. Her widowed mother Nakku Harriet (Lupita Nyong’o) supports two younger brothers and sister by selling vegetables.

Directed by Mira Nair, the film also stars Martin Kabanza, Taryn “Kay” Kyaze, Ronald Ssemaganda, Ethan Nazario Lubega, and Esther Tebandeke.

‘Deepwater Horizon’

Another fascinating film, “Deepwater Horizon” helmed by Peter Berg, is also based on a real story—the unfortunate oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast that killed 11 workers.

There are many nail biting moments, great special effects, and revelations about the greed that led to the worst oil spill in American history.

 Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Ethan Suplee, and Kate Hudson star.

(L-r) John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Kurt Russell and Mark Wahlberg in “Deepwater Horizon.”

(L-r) John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Kurt Russell and Mark Wahlberg in “Deepwater Horizon.”

 ‘Masterminds’

The overwhelming consensus of Reviewers leaving the “Masterminds” screening was that it was better than expected—my sentiments exactly. The trailers are tantamount to the overall entertainment value of the film; there are a number of laughs. The bad humor, however, outweighs the good humor.

Still waiting for the creative, smart writer that realizes bathroom humor and fart jokes are so ineffective, they only devalue the quality of the movie. What the film does haven going for it are Jason Sudeikis and Leslie Jones.

Based on real events, the film follows David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis) and his merry men of hoods who pull off a $17 heist. Directed by Jared Hess, the movie also stars Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon.

sam jackson-miss peregrine

‘Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children’

“Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children” might be peculiar to some, but we have seen it all before. Suffice to say it has startling similarities to other stories, and lacks in originality. When you think of children with special powers and their leader, one person comes to mind—Professor Charles Francis Xavier (Professor X of the “X-Men” series).

When you think of changing one’s body constitution by a look, you think Medusa. And, of course there are numerous time travel stories too many to mention. Suffice to say, “Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children” is quite ordinary and, unfortunately not that entertaining.

Peculiar child Jake (Asa Butterfield) discovers clues to a mystery that spans different world and sets out to learn more about it—and his newfound special powers. Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Green, Judi Dench, Rupert Everett also star, and Tim Burton directs.

Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]

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